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Good Soil?

September 20, 2009

A farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.  But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.  Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

I’ve always seen myself as a pretty strong Christian.  I go to church, serve when I can, even hang out with homeless folks from time to time.  Frankly, I’ve been pretty proud of myself recently.  Then I read Francis Chan’s Crazy Love.  This book rocked me like none other has, and quickly showed me the apathy, laziness and general lack of love I have for God.  I also watched a message by Christine Caine, member of Hillsong Church and founder of the A21 Campaign, an anti-human sex trafficking organization.  She spoke at lifechurch.tv in Oklahoma (watch the message here), wherein she read the parable of the sower, then made a comment that absolutely rocked my world – “Don’t assume you’re the good soil.”  I was speechless.  Because I think I’m a “good” Christian, I think I’m the good soil.  God’s word fell on me, and grew and grew, yielding much fruit.  There’s just one problem – I don’t see any fruit. When am I obeying God’s command to feed the homeless, defending the weak or giving hope to the hopeless?  When have I proven to be anything but a lukewarm Christian (something to which Chan devotes and entire chapter to rebuking)?

Am I truly the good soil?  Am I truly crazy in love with God?  When I show up to give an account of my days, will I talk about the sacrifices I  made to serve the poor and preach the Gospel, or will I only be able to tell about the great bonfires and baseball parties I had in my comfortable livingroom?

God, teach us to deny ourselves…

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